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Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Grimsby, United...
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Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Hi,

I will be volunteering at an animal sanctuary in Harare, Zimbabwe, and was wondering how safe it is there. My parents are concerned as I am a young woman who will be travelling alone, and I'd like to give them peace of mind. What are your own experiences with bring tourists in Zimbabwe? Are the people friendly and welcoming? Have you ever been in a dangerous encounter? Are there any tips you could give me for a solo traveller? Is the country even safe for lone travellers? I have baught a good, thick travel guide and am currently reading it, but would like to ask others about their experiences in Zimbabwe as well.

geneva
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1. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Lucy ,have you ever been to Africa or travelled outside the USA?

Grimsby, United...
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2. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Hi Caviar,

I live in the UK. I have only ever been to Spain and Bruge in terms of travelling, and have never been to Africa. I have also never travelled alone before, usually I go in a group of at least four.

London, United...
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3. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Hi Lucy

Im also from the Uk but have visited Zim 3 times int eh last 5 years as a couple of my ex house mates from Uni now live out there. The situation these days is massively improved from how it was back in 2005.

I spent 3 weeks just outside harare back in September. Harare is really starting to thrive again these days with a large influx of reidents returning to zim after fleeing the political situation a few years ago.

The centre of Harare doesnt really have much to offer tourists as its primarily the business district, but there are a lot of shopping districts dotted around the outskirts, which offer you everything you'll need when out there

I went to a few bars/clubs at night in Harare and never expereinced any trouble. Im asuming that like any city, therer are parts of the town you would be best off avoiding, and im assuming other volunteers will be able to advise you of these.

I took my girlfriend to zim with me for the first time this year, and she was of a similar mindset to you (worried about safety etc). Her parents weren't exactly happy when she told them she was going as the country still has the stigma attached to it from a few years ago.

She absolutely LOVED it. Its a great country. Hopefully you'll have time to travel round a bit when you're out there.

As with anywhere, be sensible and you'll be absolutely fine!!

Grimsby, United...
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4. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Thanks Phil,

I don't indend to go to any pubs/clubs, but am hoping to do a bit of shopping whilst I'm there, mainly trinkets and small presents to take back for the family and stuff. I am quite a sensible person, and a slight bit of paranoia can be somewhat healthy when travelling alone (haha!), so hopefully I wont get into any trouble whilst I'm there.

I'm glad your girlfriend enjoyed visiting the country, from all of those that I've asked not one person has said they wouldn't go back - which has made me feel much better! Now if only my mother would feel the same way.. :P

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

So glad for your question and I'm heading to Zimbabwe on my own as well. Safe travels!!

Grimsby, United...
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6. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Hi Gwen

I hope you also find answers to what you want to know, and have a fab time in Zimbabwe - I certainly hope to! I have to say that the best travel guide I have found is 'Zimbabwe by Paul Murray', it's packed with so much information it's almost overwhelming! Lots of maps and places to visit, practical advice etc. Well worth a read :) Just thought I'd throw it out there as it is helping me a lot :)

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Lucy, I'm here now and it was my first time in Africa and I too am volunteering. Thankfully I made some great friends via the Internet in advance of this trip so the on the ground experience was easy.

Many locals here and visitors who travel regularly here have offered me several bits of advice about going out at night alone. Muggings and robberies are common place though I'm told these rarely involve weapons of any sort. When I've made any trips alone I've taken a taxi just to be extra safe.

This is such a wonderful place and I've met many wonderful people here and I know. You will enjoy you trip.

Grimsby, United...
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8. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

Hi Holtie,

I'm glad that you too are volunteering and I'm glad that you're having a lovely (safe!) time. Thanks for the advice, but I do not intend to travel anywhere at night on my own, night is for bed seeking, haha. I am considering travelling, possibly by myself, during the day though, and will be carefull not to flaunt any 'expensive looking' items. It's relieving to know that if a mugging DID occur, it isn't likely to be with a weapon.

You mentioned that you travel by taxi, how is the taxi service in Zimbabwe? Is it expensive, risky, safe etc?

Harare, Zimbabwe
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9. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

I live here, you'll love it. All that is needed is a sensible head. The muggings are very few and far between. Are you volunteering at Antelope park by any chance. Where ever you are going, Im sure your hosts will take the best care of you and give you all the advice you need. Enjoy your adventure

Ontario Canada
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10. Re: Volunteering - Safety in Harare, Zimbabwe

How is the situation now ? how was your experience any advice? my son is volunteering at an orphanage in may, I am a little concerned since this is an election year and he will be traveling solo also.